LiDAR and IFSAR-Based Flood Inundation Model Estimates for Flood-Prone Areas of Afghanistan

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 1:40 PM
William C Johnson1, Meliissa M Goldade1, Jude Kastens2, Kevin E. Dobbs2 and G L Macpherson1, (1)University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, United States, (2)Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS, United States
Extreme flood events are not unusual in semi-arid to hyper-arid regions of the world, and Afghanistan is no exception. Recent flashfloods and flashflood-induced landslides took nearly 100 lives and destroyed or damaged nearly 2000 homes in 12 villages within Guzargah-e-Nur district of Baghlan province in northeastern Afghanistan. With available satellite imagery, flood-water inundation estimation can be accomplished remotely, thereby providing a means to reduce the impact of such flood events by improving shared situational awareness during major flood events. Satellite orbital considerations, weather, cost, data licensing restrictions, and other issues can often complicate the acquisition of appropriately timed imagery. Given the need for tools to supplement imagery where not available, complement imagery when it is available, and bridge the gap between imagery based flood mapping and traditional hydrodynamic modeling approaches, we have developed a topographic floodplain model (FLDPLN), which has been used to identify and map river valley floodplains with elevation data ranging from 90-m SRTM to 1-m LiDAR. Floodplain “depth to flood” (DTF) databases generated by FLDPLN are completely seamless and modular. FLDPLN has been applied in Afghanistan to flood-prone areas along the northern and southern flanks of the Hindu Kush mountain range to generate a continuum of 1-m increment flood-event models up to 10 m in depth. Elevation data used in this application of FLDPLN included high-resolution, drone-acquired LiDAR (~1 m) and IFSAR (5 m; INTERMAP). Validation of the model has been accomplished using the best available satellite-derived flood inundation maps, such as those issued by Unitar’s Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT). Results provide a quantitative approach to evaluating the potential risk to urban/village infrastructure as well as to irrigation systems, agricultural fields and archaeological sites.